24th August 2011 - The Guardian
I started swimming in Glasgow when I was about four-and-a-half years old. My parents bought me a six-week learning block and I didn’t actually get in the water until week six of that because it was too cold and I didn’t want to get in.
After that initial block when I eventually did get in the water I loved it. I never really looked back since then to be honest.
I’m one of the lucky ones that can pretty much eat whatever I want and not have to worry about putting weight on.
I swam and raced on medley until 19 or 20 then I really started to specialise in breaststroke so it’s only been the last 18 months I’ve been really focusing on breaststroke.
Breaststrokers aren’t usually the tallest athletes. I’m just a touch over 6 ft which in breaststroke is quite tall.
I take a lot of stick actually from the other guys in the squad. I’m one of the lucky ones that can pretty much eat whatever I want and not have to worry about putting weight on.
I actually find it really difficult to maintain body weight particularly in a hard training phase. I can be eating up to 6,500 calories per day and sometimes I just can’t eat enough to fill myself up.
The World Championships this year was a huge stepping stone to the Olympic Games. Looking at the stats and the history of the sport, Olympic medallists almost always come from the top eight from the previous World Championships so it was a huge stepping stone and important to make that final.
Not just to